(113b) A Comparison of Finite Element Constitutive Models for Particulate Flow

Pardikar, K. S. - Presenter, Purdue University
Wassgren, C. R., Purdue University
Westover, T. L., Idaho National Laboratory
Hoppers are used in many industries that process particulate material. Accurate prediction of hopper flow characteristics, such as stress, bulk density and velocity field is crucial for building an efficient hopper and avoid common flow problems. Various approaches have been used to predict flow behavior of particulate material discharging from a hopper. Apart from experimental correlations and theories based on simplifying assumptions, computational methods such as the discrete element method (DEM) and the finite element method (FEM) have also been used for hopper analysis. Still, accurate determination of hopper discharge mass flow rate, wall stresses, velocity and bulk density fields remains a challenge. Selection of a suitable constitutive model is the main challenge in an FEM analysis. In this work, the flow behavior of particulate materials discharging from an industrial-scale wedge-shaped hopper is compared for different elasto-plastic constitutive models within an FEM framework. The effects of different model parameters on hopper flow characteristics are examined. Simulation results are compared with continuum theories and previously reported experimental results. Differences between these models are also reported.